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Best Mousse for Curly Hair plus Key Ingredients

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Image of the best hair mousse for curly hair, wavy hair, coily hair, fine hair, and damaged hair.

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Navigating the curly hair journey is both an art and a science—a reality I’ve come to appreciate deeply through years of personal experience. Believe me, I’ve experimented with a plethora of mousses—some promising volume and hold but instead leaving my hair hard and sticky. Thankfully, those days are behind us.

Today’s curly hair mousse is a world apart from the old formulas that made your hair feel more like a sculpture than soft, natural curls. The formula is a lightweight foam styling product specifically formulated with to enhance and define curly hair. With its unique blend of ingredients, this lightweight mousse offers hold, moisture, and curl definition without leaving your hair crunchy or weighed down.

In collaboration with my hair scientist friend who holds a Ph.D. in cosmetic chemistry, we’ve combined our expertise to bring you the elements needed for an optimal hair mousse, which ingredients to avoid, and how to attain desired results with a hair mousse.

While reviews are good, how do you know what particular ingredients to look for in curly hair mousses? That’s what this post is all about—giving you the science-backed knowledge to make informed choices for your curls.

What is a Hair Mousse?

Image of mousse in hand.

Hair mousse is a super versatile styling product designed to define the hair, impart body, lift, and provide a long-lasting hold, and style memory to keep your hairstyle in place without stiffness or sticky texture.1

The right curly hair mousse can also provide curl retention, protect your curls from humidity, help smooth out frizz, and leave curls with a shiny finish.

When it comes to its consistency and how to use it, mousse generally has a rich, foamy texture with a lightweight formula. For optimal effectiveness, it’s recommended to apply this styling marvel to damp and towel-dried hair from roots to ends either before blow drying or air drying.

Typical Formulation in a Hair Mousse 

Creating the ideal hair styling mousse isn’t just about mixing random ingredients; it involves a carefully planned formula that delivers on its promises for exceptional results.

Traditionally, hair mousses have been aerosol-based and contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Alternatively, they can also be liquid-based, transforming into foam once dispensed.

In tune with increasing environmental awareness, many consumers are now opting for greener choices. Consequently, the use of VOCs in hair mousses is on the decline, making way for more eco-friendly options.

Film Forming Polymers

Hair fixative polymers are an integral part of the world of hair styling, making up between 5% and 20% of a mousse’s total formula weight. These crucial components form a microscopic layer over each hair strand, giving your style both definition and staying power.

These fixative polymers are large molecules, often synthetically produced, that wrap around your hair like a protective film. As the mousse dries, this film also solidifies, ensuring your curls stay put and look their best for longer.

Formulation experts have a broad selection of polymers to choose from, each offering unique characteristics that influence how well it mixes with other ingredients and how strong its hold will be.

The ideal polymer selection aligns with specific performance requirements, such as humidity resistance, to deliver a mousse that truly meets your curly hair needs.2

For those keen on understanding what goes into making a reliable and effective hair mousse, it’s helpful to know some commonly used polymers that are proven to enhance both style retention and hair health.

These key ingredients act as the foundation for a product you can trust to keep your curls looking their best:

  • PVP/VA Copolymer
  • Acrylates Copolymer
  • Vinylpyrrolidone (VP)/vinyl acetate (VA) copolymer
  • Polyquaternium – 11
  • Polyquaternium-16
  • Polyquaternium – 28
  • Polyquaternium – 69

Foaming Agent

To create an effective hair mousse, incorporating foam is essential, and this is achieved by using specialized foaming agents.

The go-to surfactants for creating a rich, voluminous lather are usually of the amphoteric mild or non-ionic types.

These surfactants offer the dual benefit of creamy foam and optimal volume. Importantly, this foam should quickly dissipate when you’re blow-drying your hair, allowing the active styling ingredients to work their magic.3

For those interested in the specifics, here are some leading foaming agents commonly used in high-quality hair mousses:

  • Cocoamidopropyl Betaine (Amphoteric)
  • Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (Amphoteric)
  • Decyl Glucoside (Non-ionic)
  • Coco Glucoside

Moisturizing Ingredients

For a mousse that not only styles but also hydrates your curls, it’s important to look for formulations that include moisturizing agents specifically designed for hair. These components work to eliminate any stiffness or hardness, giving your curls a softer, more natural feel.

Traditional humectants like glycerin and propylene glycol are often used, but newer, innovative moisturizing ingredients are gaining popularity for their enhanced performance and additional benefits.

Here are some standout moisturizing ingredients to look out for:

  • Betaine 
  • Glycereth-26
  • Acetamide MEA
  • Alcohol

Denatured ethyl alcohol is often incorporated as a co-solvent, working in tandem with water to dissolve the styling polymers and various resins that make the mousse effective.

It’s important to carefully consider the concentration level of ethyl alcohol in the formula, as this is influenced by the type of polymer used.

Excessive amounts can be harmful, leading to issues like dry hair, brittle ends, and even split ends. Thus, achieving the right balance is crucial for both styling effectiveness and hair health.

Hair-detangling or Softening Ingredients

Cationic hair-detangling agents are added to hair mousse formulations to deliver softness and make detangling a breeze. These agents go beyond improving your hair’s texture; they also work to combat curl rigidity and dryness, making your curls more manageable.

One of their key functions is to reduce static charge on the hair shaft, effectively keeping those pesky flyaways at bay.

A popular ingredient you might come across for this purpose is:

  • Cetrimonium Chloride – is water soluble and therefore is easy to incorporate in water-thin mousse formulation. 

Thickening or Suspending Agents

Hair mousses often start with a water-like consistency but include thickening or suspending agents to stabilize the formula. These agents prevent the high concentrations of styling polymers from settling at the bottom of the container, which could cause the product to become unstable over time.

To maintain a balanced and effective formula, small amounts of thickening or suspending ingredients are added. Some commonly used examples for this purpose include:

  • Carbomer
  • Hydroxyethyl cellulose
  • Polyvinyl alcohol

Ingredients To Avoid in a Hair Mousse

VOC(s) – Choice of Formulation

Hair mousse is typically available in two main types: water-thin formulations and aerosol-based sprays.

The aerosol versions often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some chloro or fluoro compounds, which are environmental pollutants. Regulatory bodies are collaborating with the industry to reduce the use and emission of these gases.

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, there’s a growing trend to limit the use of aerosol products to better protect our planet.

On the other hand, water-thin mousse formulations that are free from VOCs are considered safe for both personal use and the environment, offering a greener alternative.

Alcohol

Opting for an alcohol-free hair mousse can be a smart choice for those looking to avoid dryness or brittleness in their hair and scalp.

While ethyl alcohol is traditionally used as a co-solvent to help dissolve styling polymers, advancements in polymer science have provided new options.

Recent innovations have led to a new generation of styling polymers that offer excellent solubility and require lower dosages, eliminating the need for alcohol in the formulation.

This means you can achieve great styling results without the drying effects often associated with alcohol-based products.

Dioxane Residues

If you’re in the market for a safe hair mousse, it’s important to be cautious of ingredients listed with the prefix ‘PEG,’ such as Polyethylene Glycol. These are ethoxylated substances used to make non-polar ingredients soluble.

However, ethoxylation can introduce trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane, a chemical that is considered carcinogenic.

While the beauty industry is working to minimize the risk of this contaminant, it’s recommended that consumers opt for products that do not contain these PEG ingredients for better safety.

Sulfates

When choosing a hair mousse, it’s essential to be aware of the type of foaming agents included in the formulation.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are often used because they are cost-effective, but these ingredients may lead to scalp dryness and may also break down hair proteins.

For a gentler and more effective option, consider mousses that use amphoteric and non-ionic foaming agents instead. These alternative agents provide the foam you want without the harsh effects on your scalp and hair.

Other Ingredients to Avoid in a Hair Mousse

If you’re concerned about the safety of your hair mousse, it’s crucial to consider the types of preservatives used in the formulation.

While formaldehyde-based preservatives are effective at inhibiting microbial growth, they are also known for their high toxicity and potential carcinogenic effects.

As a safer alternative, look for products that use milder preservatives, such as:

  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Hexylene glycol

These options can effectively keep your product free from bacteria and fungi without the health risks associated with formaldehyde.

How To Use Mousse Based On Your Hair Type

Image of hair type chart.

Choosing the right hair mousse isn’t about grabbing the same hair mousse you see your favorite curly guru using.

Your hair’s unique characteristics—such as texture, shaft diameter, porosity, and moisture levels—all play a role in how a product will work for you.

Different hair types may require different levels of hold (soft hold, medium hold, strong hold) and specialized styling techniques, so it’s important to consider both the cosmetic and physical properties.

Up next, we’ll share our top mousse recommendations for various hair types and textures, complete with ingredient lists to help you make an informed decision.

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines and best practices; the real test is how a product performs on your own hair. You may need to experiment with applying mousse to wet hair, damp hair, or even dry hair to see what works best for you

As you experiment, you’ll be able to assess how your hair responds and make any necessary adjustments. This hands-on approach is the most reliable way to build a hair care routine that’s uniquely suited to you.

Coarse Hair

Managing coarse hair can be a challenge—trust me, my bestie is always talking about it—but a good mousse can make all the difference.

For defined curls without the need for multiple styling tools, a small amount of mousse can offer control and enhance your natural curl pattern.

  1. Begin by applying the mousse to small sections of hair, starting at the roots.
  2. Use your fingers to distribute the product evenly throughout your curls.
  3. Once applied, style your hair as you wish, and you’ll be left with curls that not only have volume but also a lustrous shine.

Mousse Recommendations for Coarse Hair:

1) Pantene Pro-V Curl Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua, Propane, Polyquaternium-4, Butane, Isobutane, Propylene Glycol, C9-11 Pareth-8, DMDM Hydantoin, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Hexyl Cinnamal, Panthenol, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Amyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citric Acid.


2) Oribe Hair Plumping Mousse 

Ingredients: Aqua/​Water/​Eau, VP/​VA Copolymer, Isobutane, Propane, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Oleth-20, Parfum/​Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-4, Laureth-4, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Bromide, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Silicone Quaternium-3, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-12, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Polyurethane-14, Alcohol Denat, Silicone Quaternium-16, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/​Leaf Extract, Undeceth-11, AMP-Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopherol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Butyloctanol, Undeceth-5, Styrax Benzoin Resin Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Acetic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citral.


3)Carol’s Daughter Mirabelle Plum Styling Mousse

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Polysorbate 20, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf Stem Extract, Panthenol, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Caramel.

Curly Hair

Image of curly haired man applying mousse to his curly hair. Best Mousse for Curly Hair plus Key Ingredients.

Curls need a boost in body and a well-defined shape. To achieve beautifully defined and voluminous curls, a mousse with a soft hold is your go-to styling product.

  1. Start by applying a medium-sized dollop of mousse to your hair, focusing from the roots to the ends.
  2. After the mousse is evenly distributed, use a scrunching motion to enhance the shape of each curl.
  3. For even more definition, consider using the shingling method. This technique involves smoothing the mousse over individual curls to maximize their natural pattern, giving you curls that are both defined and full of life.

Mousse Recommendations for Curly Hair:

1) SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

Ingredients: Water, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Panthenol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Potassium Sorbate, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride.


2) Oribe Curl Shaping Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Isobutane, Propane, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, VP/VA Copolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-4, Laureth-4, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyquaternium-11, Laureth-23, Oleth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Polyquaternium-72, Panthenol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Amaranth Protein, Silicone Quaternium-3, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Polyquaternium-59, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Olus/Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale, Silicone Quaternium-16, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Trideceth-12, Wheat Amino Acids, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Undeceth-11, Benzyl Alcohol, Butyloctanol, Undeceth-5, Styrax Benzoin Resin Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Acetic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citral.


3) OUIDAD VitalCurl + Soft Defining Mousse

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Isobutane, Polyquaternium-4, Corn Starch Modified, Propane, Canola Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Camellia Japonica (Tsubaki) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Phospholipids, Benzophenone-4, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Glycolipids, Laureth-4, PEG-15 Cocomonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance/Parfum.


4) Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse (my absolute favorite mousse!)

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Polyquaternium-55, Decyl Glucoside, Cetrimonium Dimethicone PEG-8 Olivate/Succinate, Phenoxyethanol (and) Benzoic Acid (and) thylhexylglycerin (and) Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance (Parfum), Cetrimonium Chloride, PEG-75 Lanolin, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Yellow 5 (Cl19140), Blue 1 (Cl42090), Linalool, Benzyl Benzoate.


5) OGX Locking + Coconut Curls Decadent Creamy Mousse

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Isobutane, Propylene Glycol, Polyimide-1, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Panthenol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, PVP, Polyquaternium-4, Polysorbate 80, Propane, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance (Parfum).

Wavy Hair

Wavy haired woman scrunching product into her hair. Best Mousse for Curly Hair plus Key Ingredients.

For captivating waves that boast both definition and volume, a well-applied mousse is essential.

  1. Begin by distributing a small to medium amount of mousse through each section of your hair.
  2. Then, use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer and set it to low or medium warm air. Focus especially on the roots to achieve that sought-after voluminous lift. This approach helps you unlock the full potential of your waves, making them not just defined but also full-bodied.

Mousse Recommendations for Wavy Hair:

1) Raw Curls Organic Mousse/Styling Foam

Ingredients: 100% Natural / Organic Ingredients. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Corn Starch Modified, Panthenol, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract*, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract*, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract*, Centella Asiatica Extract*, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Silk Protein, Citrus Grandis (Pink Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Glycerin*, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Potassium Sorbate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract.


2) Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Curl Activating Mousse

Ingredients: WATER (AQUA), POLYQUATERNIUM-46, ISOBUTANE, PROPANE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINATE, OLETH-20, PHENOXYETHANOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, BENZOPHENONE-4, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), LINALOOL, CITRONELLOL, HYDROXYCITRONELLAL.


3) Suave Simply Styled Flexible Definition Wave Mousse 

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Hydrofluorocarbon 152a, Pvp, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Ether, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Dipropylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Disodium Edta, Amodimethicone, Peg-7 Propylheptyl Ether, Cetrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool.


4) Pantene Pro-V Curl Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua, Propane, Polyquaternium-4, Butane, Isobutane, Propylene Glycol, C9-11 Pareth-8, DMDM Hydantoin, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Hexyl Cinnamal, Panthenol, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Amyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citric Acid.


5)Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Mousse

Ingredients: Water/eau, Isobutane, Polyquaternium-4, Propane, Fragrance/parfum, Propylene Glycol, C9-11 Pareth-8, Dmdm Hydantoin, Disodium Edta, Citric Acid.


6) Suave Professionals Captivating Curls

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Hydrofluorocarbon 152A, PVP, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Ether, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Dimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Dipropylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Amodimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether, Cetrimonium Chloride.

Coily Hair

Coily and kinky hair types often face challenges such as dryness and fragility, which make them susceptible to breakage.

The right mousse can be a game-changer, sealing in essential moisture while also enhancing the natural beauty of your coils.

For a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use mousse for coily and kinky textures, check out this quick instructional video:

Video credit: The Doux®

Mousse Recommendations for Coily Hair:

1) The Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam

Ingredients: Water, Polyquaternium-55, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, PVP, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Silk Amino Acids, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin, Oleth-20, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Isostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Disodium EDTA.


2) Lottabody Wrap Me Foaming Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua (Water, Eau), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-11, PEG-40 Lanolin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Coumarin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 17200 (Red 33).


3) ORS Olive Oil Hold & Shine Wrap/Set Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-11, Olea Europaea Olive Fruit Oil, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Peg-75 Lanolin, Peg-12 Dimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Quaternium-80, Oleth-20, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Parfum, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.


4) Eden Bodyworks Citrus Fusion Styling Mousse

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Polysorbate-20, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Honey, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract, Polyglyceryl-10 Diisostearate, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.


5) Mielle Organics Babassu Brazilian Curly Cocktail Curl Mousse 

Ingredients: Water (Aqua, EAU), Polyquaternium-11, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Oleth-20, PEG-75 Lanolin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Quaternium-80, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Organic Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Oil, Organic Mauritia Flexuosa (Buriti) Fruit Oil, Organic Copaiferi Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Organic Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerine, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Limonene, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Geraniol.

Fine Hair

Fine hair, with its delicate nature and smaller shaft diameter, is often prone to looking limp. To give your fine curls a boost, a mousse with a medium to strong hold can work wonders. Additionally, the right mousse can give the appearance of voluminous, thick hair.

  1. Simply take a dollop of mousse, and apply it gently from root to tip.
  2. Use a scrunching motion to bring out the natural curl definition. This will lend your fine hair the volume and body it often lacks.

Mousse Recommendations for Fine Hair:

1) Kérastase Densifique Leave-In Thickening Mousse

Ingredients: Water, Isobutane, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-4, Butane, Propane, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Laureth-4, Caprylyl Glycol, Calcium Pantothenate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Safflower Glucoside, Arginine, Glutamic Acid, Cetrimonium Chloride, Serine, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Linalool, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Sodium Hyaluronate, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Geraniol, Fragrance.

2)John Frieda Volume Lift Air Whipped Foam

Ingredients: WATER, ISOBUTANE, POLYQUATERNIUM-16, HYDROFLUOROCARBON 152A, PROPANE, PVP, COCAMIDOPROPYL PG-DIMONIUM CHLORIDE PHOSPHATE, DISODIUM EDTA, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, FRAGRANCE, LAURETH-12, SODIUM CITRATE, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CAFFEINE, PHENOXYETHANOL.

3) Original Moxie Pop Life Volumizing Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein***, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (and) Citric Acid*** (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Potassium Sorbate***, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Glycerin*** (and) Water (and) Bambusa vulgaris (Bamboo) Extract, Glycine Betaine (Beta vulgaris (Beet)) Sugar Extract****, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Hydrolyzed Adansonia digitata (Baobab) Seed Protein, Glycerin***, Sodium Lactate, Panthenol, Maltodextrin / VP copolymer***, Gluconodeltalactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (ECOCERT), Cetrimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic), Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid***, Essential Oils of Citrus reticulata blanco var tangerine (Tangerine), Cymbopogon flexuosus (Lemongrass), Magnolia champaca (Champak), & Santalum spicatum (Sandalwood), Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla) Extract. *** Natural Source.

4) Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Tousling Hair Mousse

Ingredients: Water, Isobutane, Propane, Polyquaternium-4, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, C9-11 Pareth-8, Dmdm Hydantoin, Disodium Edta, Citric Acid.

Damaged Hair

If your hair is damaged and parched, it’s likely also battling frizz. A hydrating mousse that’s designed to condition your locks can be your go-to.

  1. Start your styling routine with a nourishing leave-in conditioner, (or curl cream) working it from the roots to the ends of your hair.
  2. Next, apply your chosen mousse evenly through each section of your hair to control frizz and add definition.
  3. You can either use a diffuser on a low heat setting to dry your hair or let it air dry naturally. The result? Gorgeous, well-defined juicy curls that you’ll love to show off.

Here’s how my hair turned out using this method:

My hair styled with bouncecurl leave in conditioner and the ouai mousse.
Here, my hair is styled with the Bounce Curl leave-in conditioner and Ouai mousse.

Mousse Recommendations for Damaged Hair:

Here are my favorite mousses that I frequently turn to for reliable results. I think you’ll like them too!

1) Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Polyquaternium-55, Decyl Glucoside, Cetrimonium Dimethicone PEG-8 Olivate/Succinate, Phenoxyethanol (and) Benzoic Acid (and) thylhexylglycerin (and) Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance (Parfum), Cetrimonium Chloride, PEG-75 Lanolin, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Yellow 5 (Cl19140), Blue 1 (Cl42090), Linalool, Benzyl Benzoate.


2)SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

Ingredients: Water, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*+, Panthenol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Melia Azadirachta Seed Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Potassium Sorbate, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride.


3) GIOVANNI Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Hair Styling Foam

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), VP/​VA Copolymer, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, *Betula Alba Extract, *Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, *Achillea Millefolium Extract, *Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, *Equisetum Arvense Extract, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, *Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, *Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, *Tussilago Farfara (Coltsfoot) Flower Extract, *Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Natural Fragrance.


4) Oribe Curl Shaping Mousse

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Isobutane, Propane, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, VP/VA Copolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Decyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-4, Laureth-4, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyquaternium-11, Laureth-23, Oleth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Polyquaternium-72, Panthenol, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Amaranth Protein, Silicone Quaternium-3, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Polyquaternium-59, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Olus/Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale, Silicone Quaternium-16, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Trideceth-12, Wheat Amino Acids, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Undeceth-11, Benzyl Alcohol, Butyloctanol, Undeceth-5, Styrax Benzoin Resin Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Acetic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citral.


5) OUAI Air Dry Foam – this mousse also works great for curly and wavy textures.

Ingredients: Water, PVP, Polyurethane-48, Polysorbate 20, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Hydrolyzed Lemon Protein, Hydrolyzed Kale Protein, Hydrolyzed Carrot Protein, Panthenol, Glycerin, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), C11-15 Pareth-7, Trideceth-12, C12-16 Pareth-9, Leuconostoc/ Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid.

How to Use a Hair Mousse

Achieve a gorgeous, heat-free hairstyle with the right mousse application technique. The right mousse can bring your hair to life, offering definition, volume, and a textured finish. Here’s how to get it right:

  1. Start Fresh: Apply mousse to clean hair for the best results.
  2. Towel Dry: Excessively wet hair won’t hold mousse well, leading to a sticky mess. After washing, flip your hair over and squeeze out excess water. Use an old T-shirt or a microfiber towel to blot away any remaining moisture.
  3. Shake It Up: Always shake the mousse canister well before use.
  4. Dispense: Pump a small amount of mousse into your palm, then rub your hands together to emulsify the product.
  5. Apply: Starting at the roots, use your fingers to evenly distribute the mousse down to the tips of your hair. For thicker or longer hair, you might need a bit more product.
  6. Optional: For extra definition, you can scrunch the mousse into your locks.
  7. Dry: Let your hair air dry naturally or use a diffuser attachment on your hairdryer for additional volume.

For in-between washes: Revive your curls by applying a small amount of mousse to dry hair. Emulsify the mousse in your palms, then lightly smooth it through your hair, concentrating on the areas that need a refresh. This will reduce frizz and rejuvenate your curls.

FAQs

Which is Better; Hair Mousse or Hair Gel?

Mousse and hair gel serve different styling needs, each with its own set of advantages. Mousse is your go-to for adding volume, especially at the roots, while also offering hold, definition, frizz control, and even heat protection.

In contrast, hair gel is a denser product that may weigh down your hair but excels at providing well-defined, frizz-free curls and shielding them from environmental factors.

In summary, if you’re aiming for a voluminous look with a flexible hold, and bouncy curls, mousse is the way to go. If you want to create sleek, defined curls and don’t mind a heavier hold, hair gel would be your best choice.

When Should You Apply Hair Mousse?

Applying mousse to your hair when it is damp produces the best results. 

Can You Put Mousse On Dry Hair?

Absolutely, mousse isn’t just for freshly washed hair; it’s also great for quick touch-ups on dry hair. Just remember, a little goes a long way to avoid making your hair too stiff.

If you prefer, you can also lightly spritz your hair with water before reapplying a small amount of mousse. This simple step can rejuvenate and refresh your curls.

Summary

Mousse is a popular styling product designed to boost curl definition and add body to your hair. It’s formulated with hydrating ingredients that work in harmony with film-forming polymers to style your locks.

Excipient ingredients are included to manage frizz, lock in moisture, and leave your curls feeling soft.

No matter your hair type, the right mousse and application technique can help you achieve the look you desire.


References

HI,I'M VERNA

I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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Great hair goes beyond using shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. Shop my favorite must-haves.

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